By STEVE DALE
Tribune Media Services
June 23 ought to be a national holiday, says Kathy Stobaugh, project coordinator at N.N. Jaeschke Inc., a property management company in
That's because June 23 is Take Your Dog to Work Day, which Stobaugh enthusiastically supports.
"It's more than a fun day to bring the dogs into work," she says. "Last year, three employees felt so left out of the fun, I mean they were jealous of everyone with their dogs. So, they've each since gone ahead and adopted a dog. As a result, three more dogs aren't in a shelter and now have a home. If even half the businesses in
Stobaugh may be a tad overly optimistic, but Take Your Dog To Work Day is gradually catching on, and adoptions do occur as a result.
Patti Moran, founder of Pet Sitters International, kicked off the first Take Your Dog to Work Day eight years ago.
"The idea has always been to encourage adoptions," she says. "I thought, if everyone can see the loving relationship, the bond we have with our dogs, it might motivate adoptions."
Indeed, countless dogs have been adopted as a result of the event. Moran remembers one, in particular. The Loews Hotel in Annapolis, Md., held a Take Your Dog to Work Day promotional event called Bark Breakfast, where a local shelter brought in a dog named Severn -- the name of the river in which he'd been found floating.
Moran says, "Businesses have all sorts of fun events; one had a wienie contest, another had a sort of Dog Olympics. It's great, but I'm most pleased when I hear that dogs find a second chance because of Take Your Dog to Work Day."
When the event began, about 500 businesses participated. This year, more than 10,000 firms are expected to join in, not to mention the entire city of
Across the country, several businesses that once participated in Take Your Dog to Work Day no longer do because every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day. "They saw the value for the employees," says Moran. "And the sometimes predicted disturbances created by dogs just didn't happen."
Of course, seriously allergic employees may not be so thrilled. Stobaugh says that at her company, those employees simply take the day off.
The truth is, as long as a dog is only in the office eight hours to so, the dander (which causes the allergic response) doesn't have the chance to get into the air system, or to stick on the walls, desks, get into the carpet and ultimately create problems for people with allergies.
Moran adds another option for Take Your Dog to Work Day, which can also work for people who are afraid of dogs: a dog safe zone in the workplace.
All sorts of businesses participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day, from small, family run stores to firms such as BMW Financial in Hilliard, Ohio (suburban Columbus), with 750 workers, joining in this year for the first time. While employees won't bring their best friends with four legs to the office, they will offer dogs for adoption from a local shelter. They'll also raise money to benefit pets in shelters. A behaviorist and dog trainer are among animal professionals who will answer questions, and hopefully prevent more dogs from landing in shelters.
"It's a start, and perhaps next year we'll expand, after all, this is different," says Juli Long, a lease end specialist at BMW Financial (offering financing services to BMW customers). "But we believe that supporting adoption of pets is good for the community."
"We believe every pet should be a wanted pet," says Moran. "Take Your Dog to Work Day is our way of trying to matter."